Would We Love Sports If There Weren’t Fans?

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to see it does it make a noise?

Well in the case of sports and being entertaining, I think the answer might just be no. Or certainly not to nearly the same extent.

Maybe this is an obvious point, but it’s one we don’t often consider (at least consciously) when actually watching sports.

I’m writing this as the Dodgers score a couple runs off Jacob deGrom in the bottom of the first inning of Game Five of the NLDS — the crowd is electric. Of course no matter what happens tonight, we can almost be 100 percent assured that no moment will be as loud as the Richter-inducing boom from the Rogers Centre when Bautista went yard in the bottom of the seventh inning yesterday in Toronto.

That moment, Bautista’s mammoth blast, soul-devouring stare down, and Thor-esque bat flip super-charged a fan base thirsty as hell for winning baseball and who have been forced to watch the Maple Leafs their whole lives — and the noise they let out portrayed just that. In the immediate aftermath, FS1 couldn’t find a camera that wasn’t shaking like [Parkinson’s joke edited for the sake of all humanity].

And that’s really what we watch for right? Sure, it’s technically the home run that affects the outcome of the game, but if there were no fans there to yell about it, I don’t think it would really draw a reaction from viewers at home, let alone send a shiver down every baseball fans spine and bring a near tear to the eye of even a neutral baseball fan.

Spine-tingling moments are possible because of the athletes who achieve such feats, but also because of the fans that care enough about those feats to lose their goddamn mind when those events occur.

So give credit to Bautista for giving us the moment of the postseason so far, but also give some credit to you — the fans — who make it just that much better.